[Gary Petty] Many years ago when I was much younger I blew out my knee playing basketball. It was a shock to have to go in and find out that they were going to have to reconstruct my entire knee. What followed was an operation and six months of intense rehab, sometimes very painful, sometimes very frustrating as I had to learn, literally, how to walk again. And then through exercising and weight lifting and walking and running, I had to learn how to run again and how to be mobile again.
And after six months I was able to go on with my life, but after I went through all that I remember one time watching a man who was in a wheelchair and he was trying to get out of the wheelchair into a car. And some people rushed over to help him, and he said, "No, no, I must do this myself." And they tried to help him, and he said, "No, I must do this myself." And I realized why he was saying that because there are times in life when we have to learn the discipline of a situation and we have to learn to apply that and we have to be trained by it so that we can accomplish what needs to be accomplished. And sometimes just relying on other people to do it for us doesn't teach us the discipline.
I had to learn the discipline of the rehab. And it wasn't always comfortable. It was interesting as I watched person after person come into that rehab center and never make it through the rehab. They would do it for a few days or a few weeks, but they would give up.
You know, this applies also to our spiritual lives. In the book of Hebrews it says, "Now, no discipline or chastening seems to be joyful for the present." It's talking here about the discipline that we get from God. "But afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it" (Hebrews:12:11Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.). God will discipline us. God will use things that happen to us in life, and sometimes we're saying, "Why don't You intervene, Father? Why don't You take care of me? Why don't You get me out of this wheelchair into the car?" Or like I asked God, "Why don't You just heal me so I don't have to go through this rehab?" But it was only by going through the rehab and the pain and struggle of that that I was trained to that discipline to understand some very important spiritual principles.
When God disciplines you, when hard times happen in your life, be trained by them. Learn the spiritual discipline and how to be the children of God.
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